For the Philadelphia Phillies, the worst that could happen on Sunday afternoon was a loss and a series split with Atlanta. Not too bad considering how last week went. Looking to complete a series win, Rob Thomson deployed Kyle Gibson as the Phils looked to take down Charlie Morton and crew.
Gibson had been roughed up his last start against Toronto, allowing seven earned runs, so expectations were relatively low.
The top of the first was much of the same for Gibson as his last outing. After racking up two punch outs and holding Michael Harris at second, Gibson allowed back-to-back doubles by Travis d’Arnaud and Matt Olson.
Facing a two-run deficit, the Phillies bats responded in a big way in the bottom of the first. Kyle Schwarber led off the inning with a solo home run, his 41st of the season.
Rhys Hoskins continued his strong stretch of play with a double, followed up by a Bryce Harper walk.
Alec Bohm joined the party with an RBI single to tie the game up at two. The Phillies were not done there as Jean Segura drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, giving the Fightins an early three-to-two advantage.
The Braves quickly responded in the top half of the second, as Dansby Swanson drove in Eddie Rosario to tie the game once again.
The next piece of scoring did not come until the bottom of the third inning, where Kyle Schwarber did damage. The slugger mashed his second homer of the game, his 42nd of the season, making history in the process.
The Phillies have existed for 140 seasons. The list of Phillies outfielders with more home runs in a season than Kyle Schwarber:— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) September 25, 2022
Chuck Klein, 43 (1929)
Unfortunately for Kyle Gibson, Atlanta jumped on him again in the fourth. Dansby Swanson crushed a two-run home run to put the Braves back on top 5-4.
Philadelphia continued to show resiliency as they struck for two runs in the bottom of the fifth, snatching the lead right back. Bryce Harper and Alec Bohm each chipped in a SAC fly, making it a 6-5 game in favor of the Phillies.
Kyle Gibson managed to navigate the fifth inning without allowing a run, just in time for the rain. The tarp came on the field during the bottom half of the fifth, but not before the game was considered official.
That would be a moot point as after approximately two hours, action resumed.
Nick Nelson was first out of the Phillie bullpen, and he did not disappoint. The right-hander fired a scoreless sixth, holding the Phillies lead at one.
After the Philadelphia offense came up empty in the bottom of the sixth, Jose Alvarado entered to pitch the top of the seventh.
Alvarado continued his incredible stretch of dominance, striking out the side in order. It also happened to be the top of the Braves lineup.
Once again, the Braves bullpen blanked the Phillies bats in the bottom of the seventh. Onto the eighth we go.
David Robertson took over on the bump and started off strong. After retiring the first two batters he faced, Robertson issued a walk and double to place runners on second and third. With the tying run 90 feet away, Ronald Acuña Jr. pinch hit, but was intentionally walked. With the bases loaded, Robbie Grossman stepped to the dish.
Robertson would then spike a breaking ball, bringing home the tying run on the wild pitch. Fortunately, that’s all the Braves would get, as D-Rob struck out Grossman looking, soon after. The damage was already done as the game sat tied as we progressed to the bottom of the eighth.
Alec Bohm started the inning with a base hit, but that was quickly erased as Jean Segura grounded into a double play. Brandon Marsh stepped up next, slapping a base hit to center, for his third hit of the game. Marsh was left stranded at first as Bryson Stott grounded out to end the inning and send us to the ninth, still tied.
Seranthony Dominguez was the next man out of the arm barn. The 27-year-old began the ninth inning by retiring Dansby Swanson on a fly-out. He then walked Michael Harris, putting speed on the bases with one out.
That was no problem for Garrett Stubbs and Jean Segura, as the duo caught Harris stealing for a huge out number two.
"Not today" - Jean (probably) pic.twitter.com/22Wo2wS30P— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 25, 2022
Dominguez finished off the inning by striking Austin Riley.
To the bottom of the ninth we go, with the Phillies having a chance to walk off the final home game of the 2022 regular season.
Matt Vierling nearly did just that to begin the inning, but came up just short. A pinch-hitting J.T. Realmuto was unsuccessful as well as he struck out.
Kyle Schwarber was able to work a two-out walk off of Kenley Jansen and was then immediately pinch ran for by Dalton Guthrie. This move had the potential to pay off as Guthrie impressively swiped second base, but would be left stranded as Rhys Hoskins struck out. To extra innings we head.
Zach Eflin impressed in the tenth as he worked a scoreless inning, holding the “ghost runner” at second and keeping the game tied.
With Rhys Hoskins set to be the runner on second to start the bottom of the tenth, Rob Thomson pinch ran Yairo Munoz for Rhys. Bryce Harper was scheduled to lead off the inning, but was given the free pass.
Alec Bohm stepped in next, with runners on first and second and nobody out, but came up empty.
With one down and two on, Jean Segura pulled a ground ball to third and nearly found himself grounding into a double play. Fortunately, Segura’s speed allowed him to reach first.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Brandon Marsh dug in the left-handed batters box. Marsh suffered a similar fate as the two hitters before him as Atlanta righty Jackson Stephens won the battle and retired the former Angel.
Andrew Bellatti took over for the eleventh inning, retiring Eddie Rosario to begin the proceedings. Pinch runner Guillermo Heredia was able to tag up and advance to third on the play.
With one out, Ronald Acuña Jr. came through for Atlanta dropping in a base hit to score the go-ahead run. Things did not exactly get better for Bellatti as another run would come home a couple of plays later on a Michael Harris single.
Entering the bottom of the eleventh trailing two, the Phillies once again faced off against Jackson Stephens. The right-hander retired Bryson Stott and Matt Vierling, meaning the Phillies were down to their final out.
J.T. Realmuto would not be the one to make the final out as he smacked a base hit back up the middle, scoring Brandon Marsh and bringing the Phillies back within one run.
With still two down, Nick Maton stepped in to pinch hit for Dalton Guthrie. Maton came up empty, striking out swinging to end the ballgame.
Final: Braves 8, Phillies 7
The Phillies come up just short in the final regular season home game of 2022.